Mart¡n Mendoza scored his team-leading 14th goal and the Columbia High defense recorded its fourth shutout last Friday in SWW 1A League boys soccer action at Montesano.
The win raised the Bruins' record to 7-1 with six matches remaining (four at home, starting Tuesday against La Center, then two away).
Mendoza got Columbia going early, scoring in the second minute of play --following an hour delay to the kickoff because no referees had been scheduled to cover the match -- off Edgar Ceballos' third assist.
Noted Knowles: "With the cold, wet conditions, the Montesano keep had trouble hanging on to a cross from the left side by Edgar; the ball dropped in front of Mart¡n, who put it in the net."
Montesano almost responded in kind a few minutes later with a dangerous bicycle kick off cross from the right corner, but the shot sailed high.
"After that we seemed to settle in and control possession and scoring chances for most of the rest of the half," Knowles said.
But the Bruins had to wait until the 38th minute to get their second goal. It came after Monte goalkeeper Aaron Woodland made a number of saves to thwart CHS attacks.
Miguel Ramirez set up Miguel Lujano, who ripped a shot past Woodland for his second goal of the season and 2-0 Bruins lead going into the half.
The second period began with a flurry of Montesano scoring opportunities.
"They seemed to come out with a new, more attacking style, and pushed hard for chances," Knowles said. "In the first eight minutes of the half they managed to break down the side for some quality chances and had three of their five shots in the game."
At one point the Bulldogs beat the CHS defense and goalkeeper Carlos Mendoza, and put a ball into the net. However, an offside call on the player who headed the ball in nullified the goal.
Knowles said Columbia regrouped after the play and got back to playing its ball-control style. As a result, the Bruins started to get some scoring chances again.
"Finally, in the 60th minute, Finn Anderson scored his first goal of the season, finding a cross from Cheno Barajas that had managed to make it all the way across the goal mouth," Knowles noted. "Finn, coming in from the far right, had been left unmarked and he made sure the shot counted with a solid blast to the far side of the net."
Columbia continued to pressure, but came up scoreless on a penalty kick attempt by Ramon Cortez in the 64th minute, and on dangerous shots by Mark Lovrin, Chuy Ramos, Lujano and Ramirez in the closing minutes.
The Bruins finished the match with 19 shots, 10 on goal.
"Montesano proved to be a very solid team, as we suspected they would be," Knowles said. "Having lost a number of strong seniors last year, they began the year with a bit of rebuilding, but have have been finding their stride lately, and will likely make the district playoffs."
At Columbia High 8, Toledo/Winlock 0:
Mart¡n Mendoza tallied his second hat trick and fourth multiple-goal match of the season, and the Bruins' defense yielded just one shot attempt in winning the April 15 league match.
"This was a game that we seemed to control almost all the way through," Bruins Coach Peter Knowles said. "There was some physical play, but the ball seemed to bounce our way most of the evening, and we took advantage of some strong defense to notch our third shutout and second 8-0 win against United."
Mendoza got CHS on the scoreboard in the fifth minute, scoring his 11th goal with a close-in shot that beat United's goalkeeper.
Columbia's second goal came in the 27th minute, when Edgar Ceballos headed in a cross from Chuy Ramos for his first goal of the season.
In the next minute, Ceballos picked up his first assist with a cross to Alexis Gomez "that Alex had to crank around at a nearly impossible angle to beat the goalkeeper," Knowles noted.
Mendoza made it 4-0 just before halftime when he fired in a shot from 10 yards for his 12th goal, then tallied No. 13 four minutes into the second half off a Cheno Barajas assist.
Three minutes later, Kilian Hoder won a challenge in the penalty box, got fouled and converted a penalty kick for his third goal of the season and a 6-0 CHS advantage.
Miguel Ramirez made it 7-0 in the 68th minute when he found the end of a Finn Anderson cross, and Gomez closed out the scoring in the 72nd minute with his second goal--this one off a low cross from Ceballos that required Gomez to slide into the goal mouth to knock the ball home.
Defensive standouts for the Bruins included defenders Ramos, Louy Lerebourg, Ramon Cortez and Hector Barajas.